At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

At the Intersection of Faith and Culture


Thoughts on the Shooting of Trayvon Martin

posted by Jack Kerwick

On the night of February 26, an irrational, gun-totting, white racist named George Zimmerman went out in search of trouble.  Not before long, he found it.  Neither Zimmerman nor his neighbors much appreciated the presence of racial minorities in their gated community inSanford,Florida.  So, when Zimmerman laid eyes on baby-faced Trayvon Martin, a young black boy from out of town who innocently—haplessly—careened through this exclusive neighborhood in pursuit of a box of Skittles that he planned on purchasing from the local 7-Eleven, Zimmerman found his target.  A short while later, Martin was dead, shot by Zimmerman. The latter, though, has yet to be charged with any crime.

This, at any rate, is the account that has now become national news.  It invites several comments.

First, given the frequency with which commentators from across the political spectrum are speaking of this case, and given the moral certitude with which they condemn the Sanford Police Department and George Zimmerman, one could be forgiven for assuming that all of the facts of this situation are known. In reality, the public, as well as the pundits, know very few details about what actually happened. 

Second, this case is already a month old.  But it has only been within the last few days, since legions of angry black demonstrators began demanding “justice” for Martin, that the usual talking heads, with lightning speed, have assembled a remarkably bipartisan consensus regarding the “racism” of Zimmerman and the Sanford Police.  What this suggests is that it is most certainly not a desire for truth and justice that informs the expressions of indignation that drop from the mouths of the chatty.  Rather, it is much more likely a desire to jump on the proverbial bandwagon, an aching need to placate the “politically correct” Zeitgeist, that most wrathful and jealous of gods, that explains their readiness to declare their outrage from the rooftops. 

Third, according to the Zeitgeist (the spirit of the times), something called “white racism” is the most abominable of all of the abominations from which the planet Earth has ever suffered.  It is the cancer of the human species.  More accurately, it is the colon cancer of humanity, for it is a “silent killer”: because of its ubiquity, “white racism” is not easily detected.  Well, it is not easily detected by whites.  Non-white minorities who have been made to endure its ravages from time immemorial, on the other hand, know it all too well; they can see it from miles away.

Sometimes, it is true, this “white racism” asserts itself bluntly, overtly, through acts of sheer, raw violence. More often than not, however, it expresses itself more subtly—through the most fundamental institutions of Western civilization. Thus, even the kindest, gentlest, most benevolent intentioned of whites are nevertheless “racist” just by virtue of having been reared within the framework of Western institutions.  This is what we call “institutional racism.”  

Fourth, given the prevailing orthodoxy, then, the popular account of the Sanford, Floridaincident makes all of the sense in the world.  It is what we should expect in a “racist” society like America.  In fact, the story of a white man satiating his bigoted lust to slaughter a black person—any black person—by gunning down a naïve, innocent black youth seems tailor-made to fit the conventional politically correct narrative.  And this brings us to our next point.

Fifth, this story is shaped to gel with the prejudices of the self-appointed guardians of contemporary political virtue, for you see, it is not true.

Granted, it is indeed tragic that Trayvon Martin lost his life in what seems to have been an unnecessary confrontation.  But the idea that George Zimmerman is some hate-filled “white racist” who was on the hunt for any blacks that might dare to pass through his plush neighborhood is a fiction of the first order.

For one thing, to judge from his picture, one would swear that Zimmerman hailed from Latin America.  There is a good reason for this: Zimmerman is part Hispanic.  Yet while only one of his parents is non-white, he looks not at all like a Caucasian.  Rather, he appears to be just as much “a person of color” as the young man who he killed.  But the crass opportunists who are already exploiting this tragedy for all that it is worth know full well how this game is played.  They know that the promotion of the image of one person of color killing another promises no political dividends.  From the story of a “white racist” shooting down a harmless black youth, on the other hand, the fruits that they can reap are potentially boundless.

Another falsehood is the notion that Zimmerman is this lawless vigilante who was just itching to extinguish the existence of any minority on whom he could set his sights.  In reality, he had been part of a neighborhood watch group for years. That is, insofar as he devoted no small part of his life to watching out for the well being of his neighbors, he embodied the ideal of the good citizen extolled by the very same self-described “conservatives” who have abetted their leftist counterparts in purveying the idea that he is a trigger-happy trouble maker.  This, of course, doesn’t mean that Zimmerman didn’t overreact when he encountered Trayvon Martin.  Maybe he did overreact, and maybe he didn’t.  We just don’t know yet, contrary to what those who insist that he did would have us believe.

There is a final regard in which this story is contrived.  The one picture of Martin that is being most circulated by the media is five years old.  What this means is that although Martin was pushing 18 when he was killed, the Martin with which the public is now acquainted was about 12.  This is obviously by design.  When I first heard of this story and saw that photograph of a smiling 12 year-old Trayvon Martin, I thought immediately: how could anyone, much less any man, think for a moment that this kid posed any sort of  threat?  During this time in a boy’s life, the difference between 12 and 17 is the difference between a boy and a man. 

For example, when I was 13 I had just barely over 11 inch arms (biceps) and weighed about 115 pounds.  I was about twenty pounds short of being able to bench press my own body weight.  After ten months of weightlifting, I had over 14 inch arms, weighed 145 pounds, and could put up 215 on the bench.  And I still wasn’t quite fourteen.  By the time I was 17 years old, I was well over 200 pounds, had 17 inch arms, and was handling about 300 pounds on the bench press. The thing is, when I was 17, I wasn’t even lifting all that often, yet my strength and size increased through nothing other than the process of physical maturation.

Again, Martin may very well have been minding his own business on the night that his life was lost, but if we are to achieve a balanced perspective on this situation, it isn’t to dated photos of him as a pre-adolescent that we should be exposed.

Sixth and lastly, the popular media depiction of this incident is a fiction, yes, but the conventional political orthodoxy for the sake of which it was devised is a vastly larger, more invidious fiction. In fact, it is a lie.   

Hatred, when it is directed toward persons, is poisonous.  I fail to see how or why racial hatred is worse than any other.  But if it is racial hatred that is supposed to be the Mother of all Evils, if it is racial hatred around which the Martin shooting is supposed to coalesce, then it is toward the end of combating black racial hatred that we should be devoting the lion’s share of our resources. 

As far as interracial crime and violence are concerned, blacks are overwhelmingly the perpetrators and whites the victims—a fact that no one who has attended to the data disputes.  Even the agents of the Racism Industrial Complex (RIC), the professional “anti-racists,” do not take issue with the numbers; they simply—and disingenuously—seek to explain away this inconvenient phenomenon by shifting attention from it to “the root cause” of—what else?—the “white racism” from which it allegedly takes flight. 

If the masses of demonstrators in the streets, and their abettors in the media, were really concerned about “racism” or racial hatred or whatever we choose to call this thing that we treat as the one unpardonable sin, then they would have spent the last so many decades screaming from the rooftops against the evil of the anti-white animus that consumes legions of blacks—and, evidently, whites as well. 

Where were the “anti-racists” when two black brothers, Reginald and Jonathan Carr, massacred four whites inWichita,Kansas?  Did they storm the streets of America and suspend coverage of all other events to focus solely on this event?  Did the President feel the need to make a show of racial solidarity with the victims?  Where were the “anti-racists” in the days following the unimaginably barbaric slaying of the young white couple, Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, in Knoxville,Tennessee?   

In Wichita,Kansas, on December 14, 2000, at about 11:00 P.M, the Carr brothers brought their months-long crime spree to a climax that resulted in the deaths of four young white adults. 

Upon invading the home of Jason Befort, a science teacher and football coach, they beat him and his two male friends, Brad Heyka, a director of finance at Koch Financial Services, and Aaron Sander, a former employee with Koch who had decided to change course in careers by entering the priesthood.  In addition to Heyka and Sander, two women were also at Befort’s house: Heather Muller, a pre-school teacher who aspired to become a nun, and an unnamed woman to whom Befort planned on becoming engaged.

This last woman remains anonymous because she is the lone survivor of the unspeakable acts of savagery that unfolded over the next several hours.

The Carr brothers not only beat Befort and his male friends; they repeatedly raped and sodomized the two women and made them engage sexually with one another as well as with the other men.  This nightmare of an ordeal was punctuated with multiple visits to the victims’ ATM accounts.  At night’s end, Reginald and Jonathan Carr drove the five victims to a snow covered field where they had them kneel before shooting them, execution-style, in the backs of their heads.  While fleeing this massacre, the Carr brothers drove over the naked, scarred bodies of their victims with a pick up truck.

Incredibly, one of the victims managed to survive.  In subzero temperatures, in snow and ice, half-naked, tormented, injured, and traumatized, one brave, resilient soul trekked nearly a mile to get help.  Had she been black and her tormenters white, rather than the reverse, there isn’t a person in America who wouldn’t know of her—or her story—by now.  In any case, because of her Herculean efforts, these two predators were captured, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.

This never became national news.  There were no demands that the Justice Department investigate, no comments from the President, no demonstrations calling for the heads of the monsters that brutally discarded four lives and forever traumatized a fifth.

On Saturday January 6, 2007, inKnoxville,Tennessee, a young college couple, Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, were carjacked.  They were taken to a nearby home and, until the wee morning hours, made by their captors to endure unimaginable terror.  Christopher Newsom was continuously sodomized with an object of some kind.  Once his victimizers had tired of him, they blinded, gagged, and bound him. Christopher was led to a set of railroad tracks where he was shot in various parts of his body and then set on fire.

Channon Christian was repeatedly gang-raped.  In his court testimony, the medical examiner spoke to the vaginal, anal, and oral trauma that she suffered. Yet she was also violently penetrated by an object, perhaps a broken chair leg. So as to eliminate any traces of their DNA, her assailants poured a chemical of some sort down her throat, scrubbed her bloody and scarred genitalia with the same, and then “hog tied” her with ripped curtain and bedding.  They covered her face tightly with a small trash bag, stuffed her inside five larger trash bags, and left her in a garbage can covered with sheets. 

Christian was alive while all of this was transpiring.  She died, slowly, of suffocation.

Where was the outpouring of national outrage over this explosion of sheer racial hatred?

There is another reason, though, why those who are genuinely concerned with injustice must talk about black criminality.  If innocent blacks, innocent young black males in particular, are more often than not suspected of being up to no good, it is because there are far too many guilty black males who definitely are up to no good.  Black criminals reflect poorly on other blacks and make life exponentially more difficult for the latter. 

This, too, is a topic that is never touched upon by “anti-racists.”

As at all times and places, decent people of all walks of life can only hope that justice is done in Sanford,Florida. 

Yet decent people also know that there can be no justice as long as it is left to irrational mobs and dishonest commentators to intimidate authorities into giving them the outcome that they want.      

Jack Kerwick, Ph.D. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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